ENEE200 is the Engineering ethics course at the University of Maryland. Yes, engineers have a code of conduct they have to follow just like everybody else. By taking the class you will have an idea of what is and what is not ethical as defined by society. You will get the chance to question whether society is allowed to determine what is or isn’t ethical. It’s really a fascinating class and here are 5 reasons why you should take ENEE200!
1. It’s an easy A
Ok, maybe the title is a bit misleading. A class that’s an easy A doesn’t mean a BS class. If you want a truly BS class then take ENES140 or MATH206. For ENEE200, you will have to participate in class and make an effort to show that you care. The grades are given pretty liberally so don’t fret. This is not a don’t show up to class and still pass kind of course though.
2. Case studies are fascinating
Much of the course is focused on examining case studies where engineers have been faced with ethical dilemmas. For instance, you might analyze the Enron Scandal where the company’s corporate management made it rich through fraud and shady business practices despite knowing the company was in financial trouble. When the company went bankrupt in late 2001, shareholders lost everything. Or take the Sampoong Department Store collapse in 1995 where fear of losing money led to the deaths of 502 people when the entire store was destroyed. Case studies have important moral lessons to tell and are critical to examine to make sure people don’t make the same mistake twice.
3. Story telling
Gather around folks, it’s story time! Stories are an effective way to convey themes and morals which is why they are being used in the course. Every few weeks or so, you’ll be tasked with making up a story to tell of a moral that you learned from the week’s readings. It’s a nice take on an otherwise boring discussion anyways. Just don’t everyone start with, “Once upon a time!”
4. Chill professor
Dr. Mogul is an incredibly laid back person. If you make an effort to succeed in her class, she will meet you half way. It is exceedingly hard to completely fail the class because points are so easy to get. There are attendance points for crying out loud! If you are finding a particular assignment difficult, just talk to her. There will probably be some compromise that can be worked out. She even gives out candy on holidays!
5. You can use the material for your other classes
ENEE200 is one of those classes that are useful whatever your major is. It doesn’t matter if you’re not an engineer. You can still learn valuable lessons from this course. What is even better is the fact that you can use the case studies in ENEE200 for ENGL390, the professional writing course. There will be an assignment where you have to analyze a piece of science writing. You can go back to a case study (which you will have already done for ENEE200) and just use the article again!
ENEE200 is about engineering ethics, but really it’s a class that everyone should take. After you take the class, you will learn who makes up the rules that engineers have to follow. Why are there even rules in the first place? You will follow case studies of both successful and tragic implementations of codes of conduct. And in the end, you will have become a better person. Taking this class may well have been the best decision of your life!